Planet Bollywood
Lucknow Central
Producer: Nikhil Advani, Monisha Advani, Madhu G Bhojwani, Viacom 18 Motion Pictures
Director: Ranjit Tiwari
Starring: Farhan Akhtar, Diana Penty, Ronit Roy, Gippy Grewal, Rajesh Sharma, Deepak Dobriyal, Alok Pandey, Inaamulhaq, Virendra Saxena, Ravi Kishen, Brijendra Kala and Manoj Tiwari
Music: Arjunna Harjaie, Rochak Kohli, Tanishk Bagchi
Genre: Social
Recommended Audience: General
Film Released on: 15 September 2017
Reviewed by: Pranay Bhagat  - Rating: 8.5 / 10
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Public Rating Average: 6.08 / 10 (rated by 6 viewers)
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Helmed by first time director, Ranjit Tiwari under the guidance of Nikhil Advani, Lucknow Central is a story of 5 prisoners from Lucknow Central Jail who are serving their life imprisonment but decide to take matters in their own hands. Kishen Girhotra (Akhtar) from the small town of Moradabad is a wannabe singer who has ambitions of forming a music band with his bunch of friends but in trying to present his first audio cd to Bhojpuri singer (Manoj Tiwari) runs into an IAS officer who is later murdered and Kishen is framed wrongly for the same. Gayatri (Diana Penty) is a Human Rights activist associated with an NGO works to get the prisoners reformed. Initially both of them don't cut along well.

But, when the UP Chief Minister (Ravi Kishen) decides to have a Music competition in Lucknow Central Jail between the Music Bands of different Jail (Allahabad, Varanasi, Naini and Kanpur) he instructs the IG Police (Virendra Saxena) to ensure that Lucknow Central also perform by having a band of its own prisoners. Kishen promises Gayatri to form the band and decides to rope in 4 others Parminder Pali (Gippy Grewal), Purshottam Pandit (Rajesh Sharma), Victor Chattopadhyay (Deepak Dobriyal) and Dikkat Ansari (Innamulhaque). Meanwhile, the strict Jailor, Ronit Roy is all the time suspicious of their intentions to run away on the pretext of performing band and is alert all the time.

One thing that Tiwari and co-writer Aseem Arora get right is the dynamics and foreplay of the jail insides - something that Bollywood has only dealt with a stereotypical angle all these years. The film not only throws light on the outside officer-prisoner angle, but also on the equations between jail inmates and brings to the forefront the bullying, the crimes and the brotherhood inside. The second half deals mostly with how the 4 supporting troop members on being released from the prison on parole realize that their near and dear ones have moved on without them in their lives and it is better for them to go back to the jail. They believe that as Kishen is innocent they should help him escape. Will Kishen take their help and flee from the prison ? Will Gayatri be able to prove Kishen's innocence with her fact finding missions ? Will the Jailer able to stop Kishen's motives? All these answers lie in the climax of the movie.

Performance wise, Farhan is good but again this is not one of his best performances. Diana Penty's confrontation scenes with Ronit Roy are worth watching. The supporting cast of Rajesh Sharma, Gippy Grewal and Innamulhaque is good, but Deepak Dobriyal outshines all of them as usual.

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